Three years in Dubai and I haven’t once been to Address Montgomerie- until this week, when I ended up going twice in a week, to 3 different outlets!
Here’s how it happened:
The first time was for breakfast at Links over the weekend with M. We were invited by the hotel to try it out, and since I wanted a relaxed, low-key meal, I didn’t see any reason to not accept. The restaurant is flooded with natural light, light music, and a cheery atmosphere. We were greeted by Paul, the manager, and meeting him was the highlight of our meal. We talked about Game of Thrones, Dubai weather, and lots of other things. Very pleasant personality and perfect for the job.
Bread.: the bane of my existence. I mean, just LOOK at this beauty.
M ordered “The Caveman” from their weekend “Bangin’ Brunch”, and I ordered a salmon filet from the main courses because all I want to have these days (and most days) is seafood. M also ordered the soup of the day for starters, which just so happened to be a creamy wild mushroom soup.
The rather grey colored soup tasted better than it looked.
My salmon was cooked perfectly, but the skin could have been a notch crispier. M enjoyed his meaty, hearty, “manly” version of Eggs Benedict, however, one of the poached eggs was well over done, while the other was hardly runny. An unforgivable offense in the world of poached eggs, but it was hard to hold any grudges with Paul around.
The second time I went to Links (in a single week!) was for a late breakfast meeting at with a potential business associate. We only had a couple of drinks, but even she was super impressed with what a quaint yet lively outlet it was.
After my meeting, I decided to head to The Spa (this was also on invitation, it was not a self-paid visit)
The Spa: After having two extremely amazing spa experiences over the last six weeks (The Spa at Palazzo Versace, and The Spa at Palace Downtown), I was super excited for The Spa at Address Montgomerie and prepared for a day of relaxation come work. I took my laptop (instead of the usual book) with me, as I
had still have way too many overdue deadlines, and figured that I’ll spend my afternoon finishing up some reviews. What better way to do that, than in a plush robe with an unlimited supply of tea, dried apricots and walnuts within arms’ length, am I right?
I walked in to a smiling receptionist, to be warmly welcomed by a refreshing mint lemonade and chilled towel. I deliberately went an hour early as I wanted to change out of my clothes and into a robe as soon as possible. It just so happened that they were completely free and offered to start my treatment earlier. I said I don’t mind waiting and chilling in the relaxation room, which is when the lady mumbled how the relaxation room isn’t very big. I underestimated the degree of truth to her statement.
The changing room and shower/sauna/jacuzzi facilities are actually a level below the entrance/changing rooms, and are shared with the golf course members. This should explain why there were (what seemed like) hundreds of lockers. It looked very much like a country club locker room: pretending to be classy but visibly out of date. For starters, the lockers had keys rather than combinations.
The robes were not bad. I like that they were branded with the Address Hotels logo. The slippers, sadly, were not.
A+ for the more-than-usual amenities though. Since the facilities are largely used by the golf club members, there was pretty much the entire BioDerma line of products available for use; all sorts of sunscreens at your disposal. The changing room area was overall very clean and well-lit.
With shoes off, slippers on, robe tightened, and laptop under my arm, I flip-flopped back upstairs, ready for my 75-minutes Deep Cleansing Facial. I was asked to have a seat in the waiting room before the specialist took me for my treatment, and that’s when the realization dawned upon me like an impending doom: what I thought was the waiting room was actually to so-called relaxation lounge. In the words of the eloquent TheEmirEATi, “boo-hiss-hoo”!!
Allow me to explain; you see, 75% of the total spa experience for me is the relaxation room. I love putting my feet up and reading a book. On this day I planned on finishing some reviews. Clearly, that wasn’t going to happen. With spirits defeated and mind already racing to figure out where I should relocate to after my facial (pending deadlines, remember?), I settled in for my treatment.
My therapist was very friendly. Usually I ask the therapist before or after my treatment to list down all the steps involved, as I like to shut my brain off and completely relax during the treatment (with the exception of the few hurried notes/observation I make on my phone in between because I have the memory of a goldfish). This time, the therapist told me she will email me the steps. Sadly, that never happened.
The facial wasn’t the best one. Although they use the same Natura Bisse products that were used for my facial at The Spa in Palace Downtown, three things happened differently: 1. The therapist asked me if I’m ok with Glycopeeling, because I have sensitive skin. Now, I know I’ve had Glycopeeling done before, but I was nervous due to the therapist’s apprehension. I told her I’ve done it before but if she’s not sure it’s good for sensitive skin, I’d rather she doesn’t risk making my face worse than it already is (and what is already is, is a disaster).
So, she decided to go for the Enzyme peel instead, which brings us to difference number 2. Ladies and gentlemen, this enzyme peel burnt like spicy curry that had lots of green chilies, and only kept burning, so I had to ask her to remove it almost immediately.
The third and last thing that made me unhappy with this facial, is that although I felt all glow-y and cleansed right after the facial, the next day I developed a whole new, more vicious bout of acne, and big fat whiteheads. Gross, I know. This has never happened before, and I’m thinking maybe my pores weren’t tightened properly after the extraction stage?
Considering the fact that the prices for facials are consistent across all branches of The Spa, I was disappointed. To add to it, I now had to get dressed and relocate for work. I was thinking of heading back to Links.
Monty’s: As I was wearing my shoes, the marketing manager came down to greet me. She was one of those people who are perfect for their job. Friendly, warm, confident and able to carry on an engaging conversation. A+ for customer satisfaction, because when I told her how disappointed I was with the relaxation lounge at The Spa (or the lack thereof), she didn’t defend The Spa, agreed with me, explained how the target market is different and how there’s a lot of traffic anyway. She also offered me a seat at Monty’s so I wouldn’t have to relocate to a nearby cafe to kill time till I had to go for my dinner date. Just when I had felt like my day had gone to waste, this gesture lifted my mood instantly, as I didn’t have to go out in the sun and got to stay in Address Montgomerie.
I picked a table in the sun-room part of Monty’s, which was perfectly air-conditioned but as sunny as if I were sitting out on the terrace. The lake view made for the perfect backdrop to work against and I could so totally make that my office to work out of every day (if only I could!) As I looked around, I noticed a lot of people in suits, conducting meetings in foreign languages, and I understood that the target market really is different (and very high-class) here.
I wanted to save my appetite for Ceviche Tuesday at Waka (which is where I was heading for dinner), but the hunger pangs were starting to kick in and I ordered a Caprese Salad and some sparkling water. It kills me to say this but the burrata was some of the worst I’ve ever had. It was far too firm, smelled a little unpleasant and tasted unsavory too.
Nevertheless, I had a bottle of sparkling water, my trusted companion, to get me through the day.
I don’t think I’ll be returning to The Spa at Address Montgomerie anytime soon, but I’ll definitely be frequenting Links and Monty’s when in need for a quiet, sunny place to work out of.